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Frequently asked questions

We understand that you may have many questions about cochlear implants. We've put together some of the ones we hear most.
boy with cochlear implant
Are cochlear implants the only form of implantable hearing device?

No, cochlear implants are not the only form of implantable hearing device. Other implantable devices, such as bone conduction implants, may be a suitable option depending on your type and level of hearing loss.

What's the difference between hearing aids and cochlear implants?

There are many differences between the two. Unlike hearing aids, which amplify sound, implantable devices provide direct access to sound, often making it easier to:

  • interpret speech and interact with others
  • hear in loud environments
  • understand where sound is coming from
  • connect with the world around you.
Which hearing device is best for me?

Good question, but the answer depends on your type and level of hearing loss as well as your desired outcomes. Your NextSense team will advise on which hearing solution will provide the best outcomes for you during your assessment phase.

How much does an implantable device cost?

Implantable hearing devices and our support services are usually provided with no out-of-pocket costs.

We use government funding, Medicare, the public health system, private health insurance (where available) and funds raised by our generous donors and corporate supporters to ensure we can reach the adults, children and families who need our support.

Our services are available to both public and private health patients. Currently, public funding is available for children requiring cochlear implants in one (unilateral) or both ears (bilateral). For adults, public funding covers unilateral implants only. There may be private funding options available to you, and your NextSense team will help you explore your options.

We're also a registered NDIS provider, and eligible families may also be able to use funding through this scheme.

Can I get an implantable hearing device in both ears?

Yes, if it is determined to be the best option for you. During the assessment phase, the NextSense team will provide recommendations about which ear to implant or whether bilateral (both ears) implantation is a suitable option.


Am I too old for an implantable hearing device?

No, you're certainly not. No one is too old for an implantable hearing device and there is no upper age limit for implantation. You just need to be medically fit for surgery. Recipients in their 90s have been implanted with good outcomes.

How long will my implant last?

Your implant is designed to last a lifetime and the technology can usually be upgraded as it advances, without the need for further surgery. As part of our ongoing care and support, your NextSense team will provide advice on new product releases, updates and enhancements as they become available to you.

Will I be able to use the phone with my device?

Many people who use implantable hearing devices can also use a phone. In fact, many devices allow you to stream sound directly from your mobile phone - be that a phone call or your favourite playlist. Whether this will work for you depends on your type of hearing loss and history.

Will I be able to play sports or go swimming?

While contact sports are not advised because of the possibility of injury, many people with implantable hearing devices play a range of other non-contact sports.

This includes swimming and water sports, which will require you to either remove your external sound processor, or use a water-protective sleeve accessory, which can be purchased from most manufacturers.

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